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Boeresport: Staying Fit South African Style

By May 22, 2020January 18th, 2023Newsletter

Boeresport: Staying Fit South African Style

May 22, 2020


Has the global lockdown got you couch-potato-ing your way through the days and weeks? Chances are that you have taken up permanent residence on your couch! If that’s the case, now is the perfect time to remember your roots and get actively involved in some high-energy Boeresport.

What is Boeresport?

Boeresport is a true reflection of South African “gees” (which is Afrikaans for spirit). Boeresport games include a variety of fun traditional games that most South African kids grow up playing in their back gardens and on the playground. These are often played as team sports, with participants divided up into equal groups that compete against each other for the title of “1st place” or even various home-made awards and spoils. Awards can range from anything like sweets and chocolates to favour coupons, toys, books and more. You could even use bottle caps to create fun “Olympic Medals”. If you’re planning on indulging in some Boeresport during lockdown, you’re going to have to get creative with your awards.

Global lockdowns have had South Africans confined to their homes, whether in the country, or abroad. If you have kids, this is bound to be an extra-challenging time for you. As a South African expat, you’re probably longing to be home with your people – or perhaps you already have made your way home. Either way, you’re going to be interested in ways to stay fit in the confines of your home, as well as ways of keeping the kids entertained and busy. Unfortunately, even watching sport on TV is a no-no as all sporting events seem to have dried up – and this is what makes now the perfect time to indulge in some Boeresport.


Why Boeresport?

Playing Boeresport games with your kids is a great way to teach them some South African traditions that they might otherwise miss out on. Living in a new country can distance South African born kids or kids of SA parents from their actual roots and culture. Boeresports is a fun way to teach them about growing up as a South African kid and all the fun things you got to experience when you lived “back home”.


Get Hands-On With SA’s Favourite Boeresport Ideas!

Drum roll pleaseintroducing SA’s very own Boeresport ideas! Before you get started with these, get out a chalk board or a note book and pen, so that you can tally up the scores at the end of each game. Keep track of the games just like at the Olympics! Let’s kick off to a good start with a look at some of our favourite Boeresport games. You and the kids will love these.

  • 3-legged race:
    The 3-legged race is a firm traditional favourite. The activity is focused on the team members co-operating with each other and of course, on speed. Two team members have their left and right leg strapped together and then they must attempt to win a short race while connected.
  • Tug of war:
    Tug of war is a battle of strength. Team members must all work together to pull the rope over the mid marker. What’s great about this game is that every team member is of importance – young and old, big and small. Most tug of war games must include 8 people per team, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
  • Bokdrol spitting:
    Yup, this is a real thing, even though it sounds absolutely outrageous and “yuck”. It involves participants trying to see who can spit hard pellets of dung the furthest. In most instances, real dung is used, but at home you can switch this up with sweeties or other objects that are small, round (or oval) and hard.
  • Wheel barrow race (kruiwa stoot):
    This game often shows up at school sports days all across South Africa. It’s a fun game that’s focused on two players working together to get across the field (or a set distance) first, without falling over. The two players form a wheelbarrow by one player placing both hands flat on the ground and the other lifting up his/her feet. Then, the player holding the ankles propels the other player forward to the finish line. As you can imagine, this is a game filled with much hilarity.
  • The egg and spoon race:
    The egg and spoon race is a favourite kid’s game all across the world, not just in SA.  The game is uncomplicated but worthy of a lot of laughter. The objective is to balance an egg on a spoon and run the length of the field (or a marked out distance). Whoever reaches the other side first without dropping their egg wins the race!
  • Catty shooting:
    Every South African is familiar with the home-made catty or slingshot. In this particular game, targets are set up and participants must aim to shoot these targets with their catty and stones (or other slingshot “ammunition” provided. The team that manages to hit the most targets in the allotted time wins the game.
  • The sack race:
    This one is especially fun to play in your garden or inside the house during lockdown. Find old sacks (pillow cases or duvet covers make for great “sacks”) to help out with this game. Participants put their legs inside their sack, which is then attached at the waist. They must then race to the finish line by jumping forward in their sack. First team to cross the finish line wins the game.


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